Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 8, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EDT

7:00 am
to the smithsonian magazine will discuss the recent article on big science and research and microbes. "washington journal [captioning performed by national captioning institute] " is next. [video clip] "washington journal >> ♪ host: good morning, everyone. welcome to the washington journal on this may 8, 2013. fresh off a meeting with president obama, south korea president park geun-hye ofresses a joint doesnsession congress today. in the house, live coverage this morning of the oversight and government reform committee hearing on the attacks in benghazi with a whistle blowers from the state department. back live on c-span3 at 11:30. tonight president obama dines with nancy pelosi and other house democratic leaders as he continues its outreach efforts to capitol hill.
7:01 am
military sexual abuse has hit 35%000 cases in 2012, up over the past two years. we begin there this morning with your take on this. all others and independentss, 3882. for active military members. you can post your comment on facebook or send a tweet or e- mail us. courtesy of the newseum in washington, here is the arizona republic with their headline on this. "iron man" the washington post front-page story on this. -- and the washington post
7:02 am
here's what president obama said yesterday when asked about the issue. [video clip] >> i am directly spoken to secretary to chuck hagel today and indicated to him that we are
7:03 am
just to have to not step up our game, we have to exponentially a step up our game to go at this thing hard. for those who are in uniform who have experienced sexual assault, i want them to hear directly from their commander- in-chief that i've got their them, andill support we're not going to tolerate this mess. and there will be accountability people engaged in this behavior should be prosecuted. military with knowledge of this should understand this is not who we are and this is not what the u.s. military is about and it dishonors the vast majority of men and women in uniform who carry out their responsibilities and obligations with honor and dignity and incredible courage every day. >> "usa today" front-page story
7:04 am
--
7:05 am
that is what the defense secretary proposed yesterday at his own news conference, talking about this issue. caller our first phone in pennsylvania, a democrat. hi. caller: good morning. can you hear me? host: we can. caller: i am saddened, but i'm not surprised. support our military, but male, s a predominantly that of man ethos there leaves women out on the sidelines and leads to this day. it's like whatever that phrase is about the fox watching the basically, you know,
7:06 am
the military is an outdated institution. it did away with "don't ask, don't tell" a few years ago, and the sexual assaults are continuing. it is an outrage. the worst thing is that it shows the world that our military is not as pristine as it might be. that's all. host: before you go, what do you think should be done about it? aller: i mean, these are , and it'ss of mindset not going to be done away with overnight. what obama said was right on, no tolerance for this. timesthe new york
7:07 am
editorial page weighs in on the issue this morning. bill on twitter writes --
7:08 am
defense secretary of chuck hagel was asked about this yesterday when he talked about the new report, the new numbers out on sexual abuse cases in the military. [video clip] and iis my strong belief, think others on capitol hill and within our institutions, but the ultimate authority has to remain within the command structure. there are things we should do and will do to make it more accountable. that's why i suggested the changes. there will be more suggested changes. we are working with the senators and congressmen. they have very legitimate points. as i said in my comments and what our leaders have said, what is going on is just not acceptable. and we do after go back and review every aspect of that
7:09 am
chain of command, that accountability. dance and things do need to be changed. things do need to be changed. i don't think taking zero ultimate responsibility away from the military is the answer. that would weaken the system. host: defense secretary chuck hagel saying it would weaken the system if it took power away to prosecute the cases from the chain of command. d.c., in washington, active military. what do you think? are you with us? caller: yes, i'm sorry. i am a woman. i've been in six years. i've never seen a problem with this animal is surprised with the numbers. the important thing is let's not reinvent the wheel. i like what president obama said. let the power commanders to take
7:10 am
action against people commit crimes. but it's not an entrenched problem. you get a bad apple now and again and you have to take care of its apple lowest level possible. host: is this included in your training? >> absolute. go to a lot of training on this. we go through a lot of very good interactive training from the commanders. and there's no way people don't know the rules and the reporting procedures. me, as one of the women listening to the training, i know exactly how to handle what would happen if this were to happen to me or any of the people that work for me. host: what are you supposed to do? caller: you can report anonymously or you can do it publicly. there are people trained to take reports and handle it just with captains involved and anything else you need. it is well structured.
7:11 am
i think it is effective. i guess not. the numbers really surprise me. host: why do they surprise you? caller: because i have never seen it. i don't know a single case. i have never seen the climate problem that was spoken about earlier. i have never seen something where it looks like women are the fox and the hen house analogy. there's a little of that, but it's nothing rare you feel you are going to be victimized. i've never seen host: it what is the culture like? caller: i think it's very professional. we are so busy and working so hard that there's no time for that. everybody has a mission to accomplish and we are all supporting each other. host: you said that you do this training with commanders? caller: >> yes. it is lecture-based. there are multimedia features that are very realistic.
7:12 am
they're not 15-year-old videos. it is admirals and generals and your commanding officer will sit in the room with small groups and go through every point together. they all reinforce each other's commitment to preventing sexual assaults of the military. host: are you an officer? caller: i am an officer. host: you have people that work with you, for you? women: i work for men and work for me and then worked for me, all the above. host: there have been allegations of sexual abuse by female commanders against lower- ranked mails. -- males. caller: yes, we are constantly scene commanders being fired for breaking the rules. if there was ever a proof positive that we are taking care
7:13 am
of it, that would be it. host: so you do see that? caller: absolutely. it is in the military publications over and over again, every againa co does something wrong, they know they are going to be fired for it. doesvery time a co something wrong. host: what they are accused of doing, is that published as well? caller: yes, there's an article about it put in the newspaper. host: thanks for serving, meghan. begetting your thoughts on this, this morning. getting your thoughts. all others. 882. let me read some comments posted on our facebook page --
7:14 am
that is a story we can read to you today, that tom referred to. in lansing, michigan, independent. hi. caller: can you tell me what percentage of sexual assaults there was during world war ii? host: why do you want to know that? caller: why?
7:15 am
because there were no women allowed in the military front allowed at the westforce academy and point and the naval academy. it was before "don't ask, don't tell" and there was not a problem. host: on twitter -- paul in rhode island, republican. hi. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. my first time. i just turned it on and i had to comment that my feeling is there's an overall decline in the moral decay of the country. we're not allowing god in school, christianity. i feel this is just another example of how we have for
7:16 am
christianity out of our culture. how would that help the situation? caller: if people had a moral background fiber in their lives and some godly christian theirstanding of what faith and their beliefs are, i just feel there would be a better culture overall rather d out of theg go schools and out of any public organizations and yet allowing any other culture into come in. stanley, the pastor, spoke about it on sunday. , and senator kelly ayotte patty murray have put forth a couple pieces of legislation to deal with this issue of sexual
7:17 am
abuse cases in the military. senator ayotte on the floor yesterday talk about the impact of these sexual abuse cases, the impact it has on the military. listen. [video clip] >> it's important to understand why sexual assaults are so destructive, especially when it occurs within our military and when it occurs anywhere, but also in our military, sexual assault is a serious and unacceptable crime that can inflict lasting emotional and physical impact on the victims of these crimes that can last for years and throughout their lifetime. but in the military, sexual assaults and also damaged unit morale, readiness, preparedness of our troops, and military sexual assault and negatively impact a well-earned reputation of those who served honorably, which is obviously the overwhelming members of our
7:18 am
military who serve our country with great courage and with great character. host: senator kelly ayotte yesterday talking about this issue on the floor. we're getting your take on it this morning, military sex abuse of 35% since 2010. dorothy in ohio, independent. hi. caller: hi, thanks for taking my call. rape was an issue during the 1940's and in the early days of world war ii, but the other side is i was commander of the military for 6 and a half years in the air force. -- what eye witness as someone who worked with law enforcement was sexual slavery. it was the intentional deliberators breakdown of individuals through torture
7:19 am
using the u.s. army torture manual that shatters a person and then they would use them in sexual slavery. i saw this with women, children, men. and even some of the criminals told me about what they did. we are talking very senior officers, colonels, wing commanders were involved. everyorted repeatedly chain involved that was available and no one would stop it. i will tell you -- host: what or you doing at the time? caller: i was a commander. in fact, it happened to me. it was called the whore core. this is in all the military branches. it is a secret society. from what i witnessed and what i went through, even when i left .a., thesery, in the v
7:20 am
victims are brutalized. my life has been destroyed in every way possible. they did not have a problem killing people if that meant silencing these victims. host: how long did you stay? in the stay caller: including rotc-like for two years and then 9 years in service. my records are exceptional. justad thing is it is not rape. it is human sexual slavery and no one wants to deal with that. that is why so many victims are being terrorized and brutalized. it is because this has been happening. i'm been told to my face the most hunted officer in the country because i dare to speak about this. host: st. louis, missouri, bill is a democrat. caller: during the iraqi conflict that's all we heard about was women being raped so their husbands would give up
7:21 am
information on so-called paris. look what happened at abu ghraib. this has been going on a long time. now they don't have iraqi women to rape so i guess they are raping their own soldiers. host: where did you read that? caller: surely not from the mainstream media, but we know what was going on in iraq. they were raping women and children and raping people at abu ghraib. and you should know that. host: tell us where you got the information. caller: from the internet, where i get most of my information, because it does not come from the mainstream media. i'm surprised you're even talking about this. to act like you don't know about all the rape cases in iraq is astounding to me. host: i was just wondering where you got the information, for others who might be interested and to give your comments and context. nick in fairview, tennessee,. ,hi.
7:22 am
caller: hello. we had a commander in chief by the name of bill clinton that had all kinds of sexual harassment and even rape anita broderick. so what's the big deal? they're just following the example of a little commander- in-chief. we also had the issue in benghazi and it's okay now for a superior to leave his aborted troops out to hang so that he can cover his political backside. so i don't understand what the big deal is. let's keep those guys alone and let them do what they do. they are just following their commander in chiefs. host: military and sexual abuse up since 2010. therefore affairs reporter is joining us on the phone to talk about benghazi. house oversight and government reform committee will have a hearing today on its investigation into the benghazi
7:23 am
attack with a whistleblower is from the state department. what is the purpose of today's hearing? caller: today's hearing will be very important. it comes on the heels of a month committeell issa'[s released a report with other committees looking at benghazi where they are in their investigation. this is going to be the second hearing for them. since last october. since then, a number of whistle blowers have come forth from the state department with new allegations, and notably that special forces were told to stand down and accusations that hillary clinton was personally involved in trying to say that the attack was not a terrorist attack. host: the oversight committee says no darrell issa questions of a cover-up by former secretary clinton or her circle. is she the focus of today's hearing? question.t's a good
7:24 am
obviously, this is a woman seen as the democratic front-runner, should she decide to run for president in 2016. inthere is politics involved all of this. the republicans are saying they are looking at the information and wherever it may lead. when mrs. clinton testified in january, she was largely seen as having basically been absolved herself. people had not really been talking about her role in all this. she seemed to have weathered the storm when she testified in january. now the new allegations from senior people in her own state department, there were in very high positions of power in libya at the time of the attack, are kind of bringing her back into this. so, yes, it will be very much focused on hillary clinton, her top lieutenants, and a personal role in this. host: congressman jason states, chairman of the subcommittee on
7:25 am
national security, has said the witnesses today, the three whistle-blowers, are people who want to testify that have been suppressed. who are they and what will they say? guest: there are three of them, all from the state department. reno and other so-called whistle-blower from the cia, but that person will not testify. one of the people testify today actually testified in october. this is eric nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer. he was the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attack. he made a lot of headlines during the first hearing in october when he basically said that the taliban were on the inside of the state department, meaning a lot of the calls for beefed up security return down by his own hierarchy. so he was pretty bitter about that and made that clear when he testified. two other people testifying are gregory hicks. this is the man who became the
7:26 am
top u.s. diplomat in libya when ambassador christopher stevens was killed on september 11. obviously, a very high ranking member of the diplomatic corps. he was a deputy chief of mission before that. he became the top person there. he talked to congressional investigators last month. darrell issa's committee has been releasing drugs and drabs of what he told them at the time to make their case. felt veryhem that he strongly that if jetfighters had been scrambled not to attack the attackers but to scare them away and maybe lives with been saved. he also said a security team in tripoli was on its way to benghazi and was told in no uncertain terms to back down. that is news. nobody knew that. so that's very important.
7:27 am
the plane there would've been on ended up leaving after the attacks were over. it's not clear anybody with a been saved. still it's the first delegation we have heard that a security team was asked to stand down during the attacks. the first -- a person is mark thompson, deputy coordinator for operations in counter-terrorism bureau. he will reportedly testified today that hillary clinton was involved in trying to call the attack something other than terrorism. host: what will be the democratic response in today's hearings? what will we hear from them? caller: the top democrat on the committee, elijah cummings, he has been reserved in his judgment in august. he has not tried to attack anybody. he suggested strongly that this is politicized. his main complaint has been that the democrats have not had any access to these witnesses, so they are seeing the accusations and allegations at the same time
7:28 am
as the media is getting them. in trips and drabs from darrell issa's committee. that obviously makes him think that darrell issa is out to get clinton and other people and the obama administration. your time, you for sir. guest: thank you. host: we will cover today's hearing, live coverage of c- span3 at 11:30 a.m. eastern time this morning. at 8:30 on the west coast. the house oversight and government reform committee hearing on the tax on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. on that issue, yesterday we covered the testimony of the administration's nominee to succeed u.s. ambassador christopher stevens, who was killed in it the benghazi attack. here's the headlines from cq news.
7:29 am
we've covered her testimony yesterday on c-span. go to our website if you are interested. we are talking about military sex abuse, up 35% over the past two is, between 2010 and 2012. give me your thoughts on that. active military, dial in. bill is our next caller, a democrat. thanks for waiting period caller: yes, ma'am. i spent 22 and a half years in the service. there was sexual abuse, but it was only about 30%. if 70% of the men respect to the women. and the women for equal rights wanted equal rights in the service. that happens when you put a man and woman in a box altogether on the front lines for months at a time or in the bunkers. this is part of the problem it has created. host: on twitter --
7:30 am
charles in illinois, republican, you're next. good morning. thanks for taking my call. host: you bet. caller: i served in the air force. here's the shame on this thing. president obama should order all the commanders up there and general dempsey and tell those commanders if anybody messes up on one of those posts, they will go to leavenworth, kansas. as stated when we were in the service and that's what they ought to do now. the one lady is right. it's a shame when you serve honorably and have the veterans that have done right and we have women being raped, them to leavenworth and we can stop that. send them to jail.
7:31 am
host: all right, charles. we will leave it there. in politics, from south carolina -- and the state newspaper from south carolina -- he won back his old seat in a special election. here's what he had to say in his victory speech. [video clip] >> some guy came up to me the other day and said you look a lot like lazarus. at [laughter] because if it was just about limited government, this campaign would have been easily won a long time ago. but i had deficiencies that are well chronicled as a candidate. at the end of the day, i was carried across the threshold by
7:32 am
an incredible team of volunteers that are represented in this room and well beyond this room. host: mark sanford last night during his victory speech after winning back his old seat in the first district in a special election. it was left open when tim scott, the republican, was seated in the senate. here's the star-ledger with more political news -- and the new york times story on that. i have a picture of the governor. below that it says chris christie is considered a possible candidate for president, to questions about weight-loss surgery. over 300 staff weighed
7:33 am
pounds. that of the "new york times books in their captioned below the picture of governor chris christie, noting that in overweight candidate was elected to the white house. president taft weighed over 300 pounds. get more of your phone calls. start. start dialing in. independents and all others, 3882. from the washington post this morning, what they had to say --
7:34 am
carl in michigan, republican. hi. ♪ caller: hi, nice to talk to you. i have three sons and a daughter and all of them have served in the army during the last 10 years and three of them have been on multiple deployments.
7:35 am
as a dad, the thought that my daughter would be faced with justody who was abusive really bothers me. the fact that she might have to struggle more than my sons just to move up the chain in the military really bothers me. she has never reported to me having any problems, but it is obviously a concern. navy back in the 1970's. i can remember we did not have women on ships, but we did have women in our schools. not horribler overt sexual abuse but the sort of demeaning comments and that sort of thing and it really bothered me that women just had to work harder and fight harder just to kind of get along and to move up in rank and that sort of
7:36 am
thing. myrna,ayton, ohio, active-duty member. you are on the air. caller: ok, thank you. that as far as it being up 35% may be contributed to the fact the military is instituting more successful programs of communicating to their members how to report the actual incident. i see that what the numbers are up. host: have your experience that there's more information being put out there? caller: definitely. i came in and in 2003. since then, the training is annual. like one of the callers commented from d.c., it is very attractive. sometimes you get more than annual training.
7:37 am
you also get a refresher training prior to deployment. so i believe the numbers are on the increase because people are less afraid to come out and report was going on. host: why do you think they're less afraid? what are their options for reporting? caller: you have restricted and unrestricted reporting, as the previous caller from d.c. commented on. whether or not it's public or private. you had a sexual assault prevention person that comes out and they help you determine whether or not you want to proceed with formal charges or whether or not you want to just get the health care associated with follow-up from being sexually assaulted. ont: taking your phone calls the headlines in many of the papers. sexual assault up in the military. front page of the washington post --
7:38 am
the national journal reporting this, this morning --
7:39 am
there is the list of those that will attend the dinner. steny hoyer, jim cliburn, xavier becerra, joe crowley, chirs van hollen, -- on immigration reform, let me show you the front page of the most recent edition of national review. from the editors about immigration reform. inside, it says the rubio amnesty is not what the senator promised, but he is defending it anyway. also, this morning, we told you about the hearing before the house oversight and government
7:40 am
reform committee. blowers' rescue or request denied. that should come up at today's hearing. again, live coverage on c-span3 at 11:30 this morning. in the style section of the washington post there's a piece sayingbs news reporter that she is a persistent voice of skepticism on this benghazi report from the state department, from the white house, and has been asking for more information from the white house and file a freedom of information request and was denied. that's the style section of the washington post on what she has been reporting on the libyan attacks. back to immigration, the washington post says -- committee judiciary will take up the hearing on
7:41 am
thursday. we will be talking about this issue with the heritage foundation. yesterday they put out a report putting a price tag of $6.30 trillion. the washington times this morning as this story -- that on the front page. and inside the newspaper they have this story -- that's on immigration in the "washington times. joe just returned from the
7:42 am
military and, in louisiana. what are your thoughts on military sexual assaults up? caller: good morning. there's a lot of issues involved. you get a couple callers who say destructive the military is and a lot of trouble for women. obama contrary, i think is too small word to describe the professionalism of our military. it goes from the commanders of the way down. you may have isolated incidents, and thetraining understanding of sensitivity for women in the military is incredibly high. have sat through a training session very recently on this and all the way up the
7:43 am
command were in the room. and talked about the issue the passion was very readily seen. people that are in wanting to obtain society.- to change but there are others who exploit. right now we have a democratic president who pushes every agenda item for everything liberal. so you have an opportunity to arethat men are bad and
7:44 am
using all of problem in the military. it could not be further from the truth. host: i have to leave it there. running out of time. more headlines. the front page of the new york times -- inside "usa today" -- the federal page of the washington post --
7:45 am
front page of the washington post has this story about medical billing. it talks about how procedures cause different amounts depending on which hospital you go to. on syria, plans for a peace conference. secretary john kerry meeting with his counterpart in russia yesterday agreeing to a summit to deal with syria. and the wall street journal has -- plans for, pentagon the worst in syria, drawn up plans of what to do next. in phoenix, arizona, carlos.
7:46 am
hi, we're talking about sexual abuse in the military. caller: as a former marine and combat veteran, i'm ashamed this is in the public eye, because it puts a black eye on all the service. i served in major combat operations in iraq in 2003. in my security chain, glad i did not have to worry about a woman being next to me if, because the conditions were very brutal. the youngied about guys around me. the last thing i would want to worry about is a woman being there. not to say they cannot do it. they can. but it is one more thing to worry about. host: as a commander, you would be worried about the potential for sexual abuse? caller: well, yes. on top of that, imagine what would happen if they are captured. i can just imagine what would happen to obama and in captivity in those kind of conditions in a war. i don't want to have to worry
7:47 am
about it. i'm saddened that it's even in the public eye. -- i can just imagine what would happen to women in captivity. this information should be held in house and should not be in the public eye. that is usually how things are handled. host: if not in the public eye, then how does it get addressed? caller: we would handle things within our own. if we had a little problem, it should not even go to the commanders. we would handle it within our own. host: how would it be handled? caller: well, i don't know. this sexual abuse is a serious situation. like the other gentleman said, they did that, then they should go to leavenworth for the rest of their life and that's it. host: we're out of time on this topic. up next we will talk to congressman ted deutch, democrat of florida. if it is served on the foreign
7:48 am
affairs committee. will talk about the latest in syria and other foreign affairs news. later, derek morgan of the heritage foundation joins us to talk about their report released yesterday on the cost of immigration reform. we will be right back. morgan.ck >> ♪ [video clip] >> this home was a gift that 13 businessmen purchased to give the grant family in appreciation for his service during the war. memoirsntioned in her coming up the hill and being presented this lovely note villa that was purchased with
7:49 am
everything good taste could offer. the parlor of the entertaining part of the home. we all know that julia was an avid entertainer. the family spent quite a bit of time here in the parlor, also. mrs. grant answered daughter ellen played the piano. imagine a family sitting here and the general in his favorite chair and the other boys listening to their sister or your mother plays songs for them. grant launched his presidential campaign from galena, whose headquarters were at the desoto hotel in downtown. the day after his election, the two opens up their home and the filer here for people to through and congratulate them on his election and the next step up their lives. is for julia pryde to probably kept papers and pens and correspondents in here for when she was either riding receiving letters. on the dresser, we have a bible
7:50 am
that was given to mrs. grant by the methodist episcopal church in 1888. this is the dressing room, the most personal space in the house relating to julia grant. this is the room she would come to to get ready in the morning, get ready in the evening, get ready for bed, and maybe to get a little solitude from everybody in the house. a lot of personal things in your along to her. her sewing kit that she probably would've used to amend the socks or the kids or the general, sew a button. a couple pairs of politicized for shoes. danson purses she would've used if there were going out on the town visiting on a sunday afternoon. -- and soem purses. -- and some purses. he started his political career here. his rise to the presidency. this is where he was living and this was home to them right before that. >> our conversation on julia grant if it's available on our
7:51 am
website, c-span.org. monday for lucy hayes, our next first lady. washington journal continues. host: we're back with congressman ted deutch, democrat of florida, served on the foreign affairs committee, ranking member on the middle east and africa subcommittee. let's begin with syria. what should be the u.s. role? ofst: first, the news out russia yesterday was encouraging from secretary kerry they're discussing the possibility for a summit. there's an awful lot we can do now. however, that was encouraging that the russians to this point had been not helpful, blocking efforts to move forward. but there's a role for the u.s. to play. we continue to be a large provider of humanitarian assistance. if that's the critical role and we have to continue. we need to tout the fact that we are doing it. it's an important statement.
7:52 am
the president is now talking about steps that can be taken regarding the chemical weapons attack. and also after remember even without the use of chemical weapons, there's still 70,000 or 80,000 who have been killed. it's a human rights disaster. we need to look at the possibility of creating a humanitarian corridor, something that can help provide the kind of assistance necessary for all those who have been affected by the war. the problem we have now, if you look at the number of deputies, close to 1.5 million, in lebanon and the jordan and turkey and another 1.5 million or more refugees within the country, some estimate the number to be double, there's a real humanitarian crisis if we have to play a role in. host: the front page of the washington times this morning -- guest: right. the president is right to look
7:53 am
at this after making a statement about the red line, the president is right. it's necessary for him to continue to gather all the information and then to proceed to, to generate the support that's necessary from the world community to act. this is something that is necessary now in light of the evidence we have. he's making a decision not to act yet, but it's very clear that it could be an appropriate step not to put boots on the ground and not to take the lead but with our allies in the region there's a lot that can be done, marshaling the resources of our allies in the region, particularly in the gulf states is a leadership role the u.s. must play. host: let's listen to what president obama said about syria at a news conference yesterday that he held with the south korean president where he was asked about syria. [video clip] >> i think, understandably, there's a desire for easy answers. that's not the situation.
7:54 am
job is to constantly measure our very real and legitimate humanitarian and national security interests in syria, but measuring goes against myhose bottom line, which is what is in the best interest of american security and making sure that i am making decisions not based on a hope and prayer but on hard- headed analysis in terms of what will actually make us safer and stabilize the region. host: on that last part, hard evidence that this will make us safer, what are you looking for and what is the president looking for? guest: making it safer and stabilizing the region is something he talked about at the end. it is something we need to be looking at. if you look at the situation on the ground now and look at the
7:55 am
is in the opposition in syria, it is in our interest to ensure that when bashar al- assad falls -- and by the way that would not be a victory for the syrian people but a major loss for the iranians -- but when he falls, there is a government that follows that's not an al qaeda-based government, to make sure it's a government that reflects the will of the people. those are decisions of the president is grappling with now. host: wall street journal editorial yesterday calls for non-intervention war. guest: right.
7:56 am
and there's a real fear about the transfer of chemical and biological weapons into the hands of terrorist groups, and transfer those weapons to hezbollah in lebanon. that's a real concern. there is significant planning to ensure and coordination with our allies to ensure that does not happen. at this point in our nation's history, the thought of sending ground troops into syria, i think, is something that not only is it too difficult to imagine right now but it is also unnecessary, given the role that our allies can play in securing the chemical weapons and in acting to ensure that when bashar al-assad falls, there's a regime that reflects the people's will. host: you met with israeli leaders in the middle east including benjamin netanyahu. did you tell him we cannot put the boots on the ground, but it's not something you would endorse and you don't think the
7:57 am
u.s. will go there? guest: i did. the prime minister and the other israeli leaders we met with our first and foremost, they have made clear time and again -- they carried out an air strike istheir primary concern now insuring that advanced weapons are not delivered -- advanced weapons from iran are not delivered to hezbollah. prime minister benjamin netanyahu told us that would be a gain changer in the region. that is their focus. yet they are focused about terrorist-linked organizations in syria as well. but it's clear that there is much that can be done short of sending u.s. troops into syria. host: how confident are you that chemical weapons were used by the assad regime? guest: the evidence appears that is what happened. and we have reports now from the
7:58 am
british and french and the israelis and we have now analyze them as well. it appears that is the case. that's why these discussions, it's imperative that we have these discussions in a very serious way right now so it's clear to the syrians that are statements about deadlines are adhered to. host: did they cross the red line in your opinion? guest: as i said, part of what is missing from some of this debate is we have to make sure chemical weapons are secured but at the same time there are 70,000 to 90,000, depending on which a source you use, syrians who at been massacred by the regime using conventional means. that is a disaster as well that necessitates our serious consideration of instituting a humanitarian corridor, putting something in place to help secure the citizens of syria and that will ultimately helped push bashar al-assad out. host: you talked about russia. the headline in the wall street
7:59 am
journal -- how will this help? guest: first, it's vitally important that the russians are now committed to doing this. there's much that has changed since that last conference. the growth of the front on the ground in syria, you've now seen this evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the syrians and you have seen the ongoing slaughter of the people by assad. all of this really compels the party to move forward into a conference that secretary kerry and the prime minister of russia
8:00 am
have been talking about. i hope that it happens. we need to really move forward and do it inhost: we will get ts involved. , florida.a raton caller: good morning, representative. i am concerned about how our foreign policy has been affected by the serious errors in situations just like you are talking about. there are two. witnesses, currently doctors, and patients have all said that the chemical attacks and come from the rebels not from the syrian government itself. are you aware of that? would you at least consider the
8:01 am
possibility that it matters who used chemical weapons, if anybody did? and the second leads into that. our whole middle east policy has been changed by our perception of 9/11. -- thes the collapse collapse of the world trade center, was according to -- caused by jet fuel. kerosene is used around the world for cooking. it has never melted a pot yet. but it melted underneath a three towers. the news reports refused to look at that because that would have proved the use of explosives. would your office be willing to help reconcile this, because this is an error that has brought us into wars and even bought us to the doorstep of syria? host: congressman? guest: there has been much
8:02 am
analysis of the use of chemical weapons and he used them. there is a consensus, it appears, that the chemical weapons were used by the regime and not by the rebels despite the one report we saw. but obviously this is one of the reasons the president is analyzing this so carefully and making sure that whatever approach is taken is done in a deliberate fashion and in a way that is in our best interest. of thehe second part question i will have you get to, but after meeting with the israeli officials, he also met with resident abbas in ramallah on your trip. will you be talking to the white house about your trip and what you learned? guest: yes. there is follow-up certainly from that trip. we learned, first and foremost, what was driven home during that trip is while we have to grapple with what is happening
8:03 am
in syria, we can't lose sight of the fact that the iranians continue to move forward on the nuclear weapons program. that that is the greatest threat in the region, the greatest threat to us as well. and it is something we have to focus on here in washington as we ramp up of both enforcement of existing sanctions against iran and as we were to pass tougher sanctions. sanctions have been effective but there is a lot more that we can do and think we need to do to show the iranians their best options is to give up the nuclear weapon program. host: your question about 9/11, how that framed issues going forward eared guest: it does. there is no question the attacks the way america views the world. having been on the receiving end of a major terrorist attack, every decision we make, however, has to be made in deciding what is in the best interest of our
8:04 am
nation and our security and how to act in a way that benefits and secures our allies and our own interests. that's continues to be our approach, and it needs to be. i think that is what we have seen from the president these past years. host: when do you think he will make a decision about what is next inferior? ?he next few days, weeks guest: i don't have operational information. i know the administration continues to analyze possible responses. secretary hagel has been clear about that as well and the president yesterday was very clear about that. i don't know when there will be action taken, the clearly there is a recognition that something really needs to be done in order to ensure that our interests in the region and the security in the region is maintained. s -- what if the
8:05 am
will of the syrians do not reflect the best interest of the united states? guest: the one thing there is no question about is the will of the syrians is to see aside -- dictator whoutal has slaughtered tens of thousands of its own people, the will of the people is to see him go. as i said earlier, that something that is not just in the best interest of the syrian people. it is in the best interest of our security in the region, our allies security in the region, and we need to secure that when assad falls, which will be a blow to the regime in tehran, that when he falls we will be in a position to have a government that does reflect the will of the people, rather than a terrorist government. host: marks, canton, ohio. republican caller. --ler: i want to give you a you will not appreciate. i think 98% or 99% of syria is
8:06 am
muslim religion. there have been conservative estimates that seven percent of are radicalized, jihadist, they hate us, they want to kill us. they are against our way of life. if 100,000 syrians have died based on those statistics, roughly 7000 of our blood enemies have killed each other. and one more point, it if 100,000 americans were dying in a civil war going on here, i don't believe they would come rushing to our aid. that is a fact. host: congressman, what about the statistics? you serve in the middle east subcommittee. guest: the last statement is absolutely correct. if there were something happening in this country, we would deal with it ourselves here. this is an ongoing discussion about what our role is in the world.
8:07 am
in the middle east and throughout the world. in a situation like this especially when you see what has become a major humanitarian crisis, there is a role the united date has always laid, not because it is in the best interest of the cre and and not because we feel bad because what is happening in the ground. our engagement and the world is something we do because it is in our own best interest, our security interests. that is why it is so important for us to remain engaged. host: a viewer suites in -- tweets in -- guest: i do not think it reduced our options. the israelis have been quite if theyroughout that reached the point where they saw a game changing weapons from a random at risk of being delivered to has below, that they would act. they said that and have been very clear throughout. that is what they did.
8:08 am
and sense of these strikes may have been cleared to continue to repeat that. that is what they have been doing. they are not engaging in the midst of that civil war. so, no, i do not think it will diminish the range of options we continue to have. host: paul. independent caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a couple of comments, since i have been on hold. i love the fact of how the gentleman uses the world community and international community, how the u.s. views that. in essence, there are only three or four of them and the majority of the countries in the un don't have veto power. i don't buy this -- the world community or international community. in syria there have been reports that have clearly stated that the gas was used by so-rebels and not by the called vicious regime as the
8:09 am
gentleman puts it. and interviewed many of the people who have been displaced. --t is what the report report states. so i don't buy that, either. host: let's get a response. first of all, i do not think there is any reason to refer to the regime as the so-called vicious regime, not what it has slaughtered up to 100 thousand people. it is clear it is a vicious regime that at this point is willing to do anything it can to remain in power. the reason the united states has not yet taken any action is precisely because of the callers concern. because we want to make sure that if there is going to be any response, that we understand exactly what happened. ,f chemical weapons were used he used them, so we can act accordingly. i think the administration's approach has been in line. host: the front page of "the wall street journal." "the pentagon prepares for the
8:10 am
worst in syria." can you tell us more about this? , there is reald concern about the possible spillover effect. this is something we have worried about now for some time. you see the huge number of refugees that have come into jordan, into lebanon, into turkey. more than a million and a half. the real concern is that what is happening in syria may ultimately destabilize the government in amman. that is what has led to the discussion of a possible buffer zone. there are other ways to approach this, though. creating a humanitarian corridor is something that could help address this. but first and foremost, i think a point that there is no talk of
8:11 am
sending an american troops in to see her yet and putting american troops of boots the ground in syria. allies inmething our the region must step up and take the lead on. host: and "the wall street journal" be ported that this plan, buffering the border, to minimize direct u.s. involvement. guest: it is important for several reasons. obviously because in this country there is a war weariness. absolutely understandable war weariness that comes into play. and it should. ,eyond that, within the region our allies there have a responsibility to play their part to ensure that this reaches a resolution that is in their best interest as well. host: will go to georgia. independent caller. caller: you may have already addressed this as i was speaking to the call screener, troopsr comments -- 200 from the first armored division
8:12 am
to jordan to stage headquarters to bring in another 40,000 to 60,000 troops, as the story goes. i want to get your comments on that. assad wouldve never use chemical weapons against his own people. it was a set up to bring in nato and the united eight. it is again, that is why so important for us to figure out what happened with chemical weapons. the evidence certainly points to the regime. even the way it has acted toward its own people, i do not know it would be so shocking. evidence from the french and the british government as well. what about our own u.s. intelligence? guest: it is clear chemical weapons were used. we are trying to confirm exactly how they were used and who used them. that is an important part of
8:13 am
the analysis being done right now. at the same time we are doing that, as the president said yesterday is it is most important we look at this and we take a very measured approach to what is happening and how we can and sure our national security interests are met. host: the first part of the question -- are there u.s. troops already in jordan? -- and ie report heard the report we are sending 40,000 troops. the suggestion was made by some ways we are sending tens of thousands of troops to go into syria.-- it is not my understanding. we continue to work with the jordanians, it is a very important ally and they play a key role and they have been affected outside of syria as much as anyone because of the huge number of refugees and we have to continue to work with them to ensure there is not the spillover. in --a viewer tweets
8:14 am
do you think syria and egypt and other countries will be room just rolled by the muslim brotherhood for a generation? guest: that is a great question. egypt we have not spoken about, but there was action just this week where the muslim brotherhood took an even greater position within the government in egypt. we have real concerns in egypt on the one hand balancing the fact that egyptians got rid of their dictator who had ruled the country, but we have a regime thata government in cairo continues to raise serious human rights concerns that have to be addressed. we have to make sure they continue to abide by the camp david accord and they take action to stop arms from flowing into gaza. there is a lot we expect from this regime and yet continue to work to make sure this is a government that acts in a way that reflects -- if we are
8:15 am
going to continue to engage with them, that reflects ours as well. host: a viewer says -- if we remove assad how do we make sure the man that is put in office is not twice as bad as he is? is this egypt, the sequel? chico that is always the concern. in this case, we know that the him falling are very significant error across the entire region, digitally given his relationship with the iranians. as ayn rand's best ally in the region. if he falls, it is ultimately in our best interest rate we have to make sure all of the terrorist link groups did not play a role in the government. that is really what is the focus of american policy right now. host: what role in saudi arabia and qatar playing and all of this? guest: they are playing an important role but they need a
8:16 am
more important role in making sure their support of the rebels in syria -- because it is clearly in their best interest assad to go. that they are supporting rebel groups we can support. they can play an important role. when i referred to the others in the region, those two countries in particular must play a very significant role in ensuring that as they participate, as they continue to fund the rebels, that they are funding the rebel groups that, again, would ultimately form a government that would be in the best interest of the syrian people. angela from california. thanks for hanging on the line. go ahead. guest: yes, i do see that we are definitely revisiting iraq again. and we are very were weary. we are american citizens and we are not stupid. while government tells us all
8:17 am
sorts of lies, like they did when we went to iraq, and we had all of our soldiers dying there, and i see the same scenario here. the american people are not as stupid as our government thinks. we get our information from the internet, that the people in syria like their government. why don't we have an election in syria and that the syrian people decide who they want as their president? guest: i agree completely. why don't we let the syrian people have an election? because they are rolled by a dictator who would never permit one. that theely agree goal here is for the syrians to express their will, but i don't think there is anything that one can read on the internet that would belie the fact that tens
8:18 am
of thousands of people have been slaughtered by assad. the caller is right, we are warroad weary. we are rightfully war weary. many of us opposed the war in iraq for all the reasons the caller referred to. now, it does not mean we do not view each circumstance based on what is actually happening on the ground and we have a brutal dictator who is killing his own people. we have to make sure that it works out. host: if the president, this administration, comes forward with clear evidence that chemical weapons were used, they were used by assad, he used -- used on the people, what is the administration looking at right now? all that comes out, the white house lays on the table, then should there be glued to the ground? guest: i don't think it is necessary for us to have boots the ground to have a meaningful impact on what happens there. there are other things that can be done. host: do you apply the libya ? guest: celia --syria
8:19 am
there is a difference. in libya we introduced a no-fly zone. it was our allies who took the lead there. in this case, it is vitally important that our allies in the region take the lead. the difference, though, libya did not have much in air defense and syria has a sophisticated air defense, so it is more difficult. the idea of creating a humanitarian corridor is something the world should be able to rally behind now because of what it would mean to the people on the ground, helping those people even as we work to forge a transition of the government. host: david from waldorf, maryland. democratic government. caller: let me get this straight. we are using the caliban, the so-called rebels to help the people of syria question might get me a break. this guy and c-span should be ashamed for not telling the truth. it really has to do with oil. the fact we want assad and
8:20 am
syria out of the way so we can ship oil from the other countries. host: let's get a response, congressman. guest: sure, again, what is happening on the ground is that there is a significant opposition. the idea that this is somehow a battle between a brutal dictator in assad and the taliban on the other hand just is not accurate. there are, among the rebel that want to throw off the yoke of the dictator, that you want democracy. that is who we ought to be supporting. i agree with the caller, we need to work hard to make sure at what we are not doing is supporting groups like -- that would ultimately help groups with connections to al qaeda. that is not in our best interest. he is right. the american government knows that. that has got to be front and center. host: here is an e-mail from one
8:21 am
of our viewers who ask -- using an expression mike ross the red line could actually approach -- provoke aggression. was this the wrong thing for the president to say? guest: the president said that using chemical weapons am a that if they use comical weapons, that would rock the red line. is mostpoint what important is we determine all the facts about these chemical weapons and then ultimately america's commitment to ensure that chemical weapons are not used and to ensure that what we say matters, that is what is front and center. it does not mean we send troops in. it does not mean we engage militarily. but it does mean that we look at all the possible ways to and sure that, again, when we say something, that it really matters. host: john in chicago. republican caller. you are on the air. caller: ok. what i want to know from mr. --rick morgan -- mr. deutch
8:22 am
host: congressman ted deutch. isler: if we find out it the rebels who are using chemical biological weapons. what do we do? there that is exactly why has been a deliberate approach. if there were those who said that as soon as the first reports surfaced that chemical weapons were used it was necessary for us to immediately launch an attack in the administration, to its credit, has taken a deliberative approach. and also it needs to continue to confirm that the information is correct. at that point, it is not just -- as i have said, it is not just a military option that should be considered. there are a range of ways that we can be involved to help ensure that we move forward, that assad ultimately goes and
8:23 am
we wind up with a government that really reflects the interest of the syria people. host: according to the cia world 34th ink --syria ranks world production, and topping the list is russia, saudi arabia, united eight, ran, china canada, uae, mexico, iraq, etc. --syria ranks 34th. lancaster, south carolina. independent. caller: greta, please, don't hang up on me. no disrespect to the politician -- [indiscernible] they lied to us about iraq. let's go back to some of these terrible dictators. , we were friends with him for a while and we turned on him. barbaric egypt, we were friends with him for 30 years and gave him over a billion dollars in
8:24 am
aid, and now he is a terrible dictator and had to go. now assad has to go. we love going into other people's countries, telling their leaders they got to go. what if somebody tells barack obama he has to go? does he have authority to dictate our policy throughout the world? guest: we have not gone into the arab world, in the arab spring, to dictate american policy. we have not gone into demand that these countries do what we want them to do. we are reacting to what has been going on in the region for the past two years. that is what is happening there. that is what is have -- was happening in egypt. it was the egyptians that poured into time we're square who were ultimately responsible for the changes to government there. it was the syrian people who were responsible for what is happening there. it is our responsibility to
8:25 am
ensure that our policy in the region is one that reflects what is actually happening on the ground and reacts to what is happening on the ground, and that has been this huge of people throughout the region. we can't just put our heads in the sand and assume that everything is just going to work out our -- alright and there is no role for us to play, even diplomatically. we have to be engaged. it is important for us and important for our national security. that is why this matters. that is why we are involved. this is not something driven by the united states but something happening on the ground throughout the region. host: back to the cia factbook .bout syria's military branches an army, navy, air and defense forces including an air defense command. can you talk about that? guest: sure, it does. pose the questions for the comparison with libya, the air defenses are significantly
8:26 am
greater. , again,d forces significantly larger than in libya. -- i think weing have heard from a lot of the callers, and this is something we hear a lot -- even the war weariness in this country, it is imperative that as we work in the region, that we look to our allies there to take the lead. that this is not something that should put u.s. troops on the ground in the region. this is something where we need to work closely with our allies, understanding that the syrians have a significant defense system. host: where were they able to get the command system? now foure syrians years, the relationship theory has with airtran is significant. and the syrians have had a significant relationship with russia, why they have blocked efforts at the un.
8:27 am
why the news out of moscow is somewhat hopeful that perhaps finally the russians will move in a direction that is in the best interest of the syrian people. host: according to the cia, -- on military expenditures, 31st in the world. in -- can you tweets elaborate on the exact evidence we have showing chemical weapons were used? point, there is physiological evidence, which is what we have been waiting for. the analysis being done right now to ensure the intelligence confirms exactly what happened, what chemicals were used, where they were used, and who used them. that is what is driving this. there is -- as i have been very clear that the president approaches been correct. the administration has to be
8:28 am
very careful about drawing conclusions about what was used and who used it and how it was used. certainly if of the regime used chemical weapons, which what the evidence looks like, that is where the discussion is further. but not to be lost on all of this is we are looking at a situation where for two years assad had continued to slaughter his own people with conventional weapons. that is why it is so important for us, to look at ways to help. the bloodshed and ultimately toward his departure. host: can from glen bernie, marilyn. republican. caller: yes. my question would be, if we end up having to put troops on the ground -- hoping we don't, who will pay for that? will the europeans pay for that? if we are operating -- will the syrians pay for that? we are operating at a deficit
8:29 am
already. already in the red. anybody who has the bills we pay every month. we pay them and at the end of the month we do not have anything else to spend. continuee afford to to pass legislation that cost more money? how can we keep thinking about putting it on the ground? guest: listen, this is the topic we discussed most in washington these days. things thatrtain are in our national interest that we have to pay for. we continue to fund our defense because it is important to our national security. in this case, if ultimately there is a decision made by the administration to take some action in syria, again, not boots on the ground -- that is not something i support. i do not think it is necessary. and not just because of the cost but because there are
8:30 am
better ways in a war weary country like ours that we can take action that would be significant. but our defense, that is why we engage in the world and why we pay for the things that matter to us. our national security is something that is first and foremost priority. that is why it is important we continue to engage and why the discussions are so important. host: before we let you go, south koreans president will address a joint session of congress and we will have coverage on c-span. what will you be listening for? guest: i think it is an important address. i think having president park is an important statement, not just because of what is going to be said but because of what it says about the relationship. at a time we have been watching kim jong-un and his maneuvers and his bellicose statements, it is important for us to reaffirm the relationship that we have with south korea,
8:31 am
explain why that relationship matters so much. we can do it. having the president here address congress is an important way for us to do that. i think we will hear a great deal about the extent of the relationship and why it matters so much. host: a full-page ad put in " the washington times" yesterday from the korean-american committee extending a warm welcome to president park. thank you for your time. appreciate it. we will switch topics here. coming up, we will talk about immigration reform with the heritage foundation. they put out a report, putting the price tagged at $6.3 trillion. and finally, our weekly spotlight on magazine segment, we will talk about aps in the smithsonian magazine on the big science researching microbes. we will be right back.
8:32 am
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] http://twitter.com/cspanw >> most people don't know cigarettes are the main way we
8:33 am
are exposed to radioactive isotopes. the average smoker would get the equivalent of hundreds of -- chest x-rays a year just from looking. it is mainly from the pesticides rather than the fertilizers put on tobacco. super phosphate fertilizers around the plant. both contain uranium, uranium decays to lead and led to polonium. the very same poison that killed the russian spy in london, that is also present in cigarette smoke. that was already discovered in the 1960s. the most easily preventable cause of death in the model ,orld -- modern world responsible for 440,000 deaths in the united aids every year, completely preventable -- in the year. states every >> tobacco's history and the continuing dangers of smoking. 10:00 eastern a sunday night, part of "book tv" this weekend on c-span two. >> "washington journal"
8:34 am
continues. host: we are back with derrick economicomestic and policy vice president at the heritage foundation out with the report yesterday that the cost of what you say is amnesty of the immigration proposal, six point three dollars trillion. how did you, with the number? guest: we came up with the number i looking at the possible -- population estimate is unlawful, that we know from census data, about 11.5 million people. we looked at their expenditures. the government services that they have received and also government benefits they received, and we subtracted from that the taxes that they pay. we came up with a net figure and we estimated that over the lifetime of the illegal immigrant population, it would come to $6.3 trillion in deficit. host: what government programs did you look at? guest: very exhausted. in fact, exhaustive on the expenditure and benefits side but also on the tax side. a few examples. we did not count things like
8:35 am
national defense or medical research. these are goods that are pure public goods. these are goods we will not spend more or less on based on an increase in population. but we did count things like schools and police and other goods that are "congest the book." the same methodology used by the national academy of sciences in that report. in addition to that, things like direct benefits. whether it be means tested welfare programs, things along that nature. host: social security and medicare? guest: that's right. although unlawful enemy grants under current law did not receive social security or medicare -- and they are not supposed to. thectually looking through census data, if somebody did receive social security or medicare, they actually concluded that person must you a lawful immigrant. host: outlook education, $12,300 per people? congestiblef those
8:36 am
goods. my son's elementary school is getting crowded and every time you add more population you need more teachers and administrators. on the tax side, we wanted to give credit for all kinds of. this is not just federal am a but of the state -- property taxes, local sales taxes, and it also includes things including lottery tickets, for example. we included that as a tax expenditure. when people buy those lottery tickets, that that is money the government gets. host: you calculate about 3.1 trillion in taxes paid by illegal immigrants? guest: exactly right. the expenditure side, 9.4 trillion. host: this is "the new york times" story, rubio disputes report. the senator, the gang of eight, republican of florida. they are the only group looked at this issue and and reach the conclusion they reached.
8:37 am
guest: with all due respect to the senators and others, we are actually the only group i am aware of that looked at the fiscal costs. other groups have done an economic analysis of immigration reform in total, and it includes things other than amnesty. what are report does is look specifically at amnesty and the cost of amnesty. in fact, our report looks at it in phases. you have under current law, this is how much unlawful households cost the taxpayer. and in the interim phase, which is the time in which they will have legal status but would not qualify for things like social security and medicare, means tested welfare and so forth.
8:38 am
then the full amnesty phase, which is where the cost really take off. a reason why this is is because we have a government that is very much in the business of redistributing wealth. a quick statistic. in 1935, near the end of franklin roosevelt's first term, the government spent about three percent of its outlays on transfer payments -- that is, taking from some americans and giving to other americans. now the total is two thirds. we have a government who is very much in the business of taking from some people and giving to other people. that is why we thought this type of analysis -- again, i think we are the only ones who have done it -- is important to look at in terms of unlawful immigrants. host: cato put out the statement about the report. of key flaw is the use static fiscal scoring rather than dynamically evaluate that years immigration reform bill.
8:39 am
host: this criticism was also echoed by senator rubio yesterday, you did not use dynamic scoring. guest: they may be confusing at a bit. we just look at amnesty, which is the part of the bill we are most concerned about. we think amnesty is unfair to lawful immigrant who waited in line to come to the united states. we think it cost too much, which is what this report is about. and we also think it could make the problem worse. this will be the second amnesty. we said in 1986 as a country we will do it one time only and here we are saying we will do it again. if we do it again, i think we should expect more unlawful immigrants.
8:40 am
our study looks at just the ms the -- amnesty proposal. within that, there are dynamic elements. our authors calculated we expect that unlawful immigrants will see an increase in wages after amnesty. we included that as part of our analysis. and in fact, we see that during the interim phase i was talking about, their taxes will go up, because they will also most likely move from -- right now we estimate unlawful immigrants work off the books about half the time and once in full amnesty, we expect 90% of the work will be on the books. our study looking at amnesty in that sense does have dynamic elements. what we have not been at this point is look at immigration reform altogether. there are parts of immigration reform -- undoubtedly, maybe not part of this bill -- but we can perceive of some reforms that could lead to economic growth. but this study is looking at amnesty, which we oppose and we do not think is necessary to get
8:41 am
the bulk of economic benefits we could get with a properly structured merit-based system. host: jeff flake, part of the gang of eight, put out this tweet. host: is the heritage foundation saying immigrants harm the american economy? guest: what we are looking at is the effect on the american taxpayer. we think that is an important part of the debate. senator flake and cato and others have looked that, for rector's work, one of the primary drivers of welfare reform in the 1990s and one of the foremost experts on social welfare policy. even to day or maybe last night, another scholar at cato took a look at his buddy and said it is a great examination of the size of the welfare state. he is right.
8:42 am
this is perhaps where we would distinguish ourselves from our libertarian friends. milton friedman, he wrote in " the wall street journal" that you cannot have open borders and a welfare state. that is the real problem. we need to get that reforming the welfare state. host: talking to heritage foundation's derrick morgan, economic -- domestic policy chairman. we will take your phone calls in just a minute but first i want to have you respond to douglas hold a given, it -- douglas holz-eakin, he and economic opportunity for the nation. [video clip] a strong influence on entrepreneurship and small business a minute -- administration. the immigrants work for, labor participation rates are higher and open small businesses at a higher rate.
8:43 am
as a result, it will increase put activity growth and the economy, the fundamental building block of higher standards of living, and generate larger economic growth numbers than we have seen in recent years. i have done some estimates that for benchmark reform suggest you can have as much of a full percentage point faster growth over 10 years, and associated with that would be something i think every member of this committee would be quite pleased to see, and that is less budgetary rusher, faster growth reduces using cbo rules of fun about $2.5 trillion over 10 years. rarely a benefit with all to think about when we think about immigration reform, and not rely on those efforts which ignore economic growth. , yourderrick morgan response? guest: thank you for playing that. eakin is looking at benchmark economic reform, and he does not exactly go into his
8:44 am
methodology or his assumptions. we would like to be able to see those to be able to see if the assumptions he has made on the microeconomics, immigration economics -- what exactly he is looking at. robert and jason and their report, nearly 100 pages and they have gone through an excruciating detail how they came to their numbers. we feel that anything that looks at immigration reform should meet the same standards. moreover, i would say that mr. eakin's buddy is looking a wider things than amnesty, which are report is focused on. as i said a moment ago, there may be parts of the immigration system that we could reform that could lead to economic growth but we don't see why we have to include amnesty to get the bulk of the positive economic benefits we can get from the changes. host: john from port st. lucie, florida. republican caller. geoeye. statement is
8:45 am
anecdotal. where i work, we beat -- we have people come in who can't speak english every day, they present id from other countries -- mexican card, el salvador and mostly central america. these are people collecting government checks. how do i know this? because before we stop cash and treasury checks, these were the same people coming in with the same ids and they were people who were getting the earned income credit. where ipens is and work we have to stop what we are doing, get an interpreter, and i don't need a study. i appreciate the study that has been done. but i don't need a steady because i have been seeing it for 20 years, what it has done for our own productivity where i work. it just stops things. the line gets longer, the customers get angry. we have to get an interpreter. and people are not assimilating. that is the difference. we have to make the distinction between illegal immigration and
8:46 am
immigration. everybody says we are a nation of immigrants. what we don't realize is only 12 million deaths funny we should have the numbers -- if you go to the ellis island website, 12 million people came in when it opened in 1892 until the 1950s when a close. my question is, last year the number was 12 million. now it is down to 11 million. you are saying you get the numbers from the census bureau. when we did the amnesty in 1986, they said it was 1 million and we found out 3 million signed up. i think we are going to get the same thing. we will get three times what they say. host: ok. derrick morgan. guest: thank you for the question. we get our numbers from the census data. we go through it in detail. he also add onto that the department of homeland security estimate of 1.15 million on lawful immigrants that do not show up on the census data. admittedly, this is conservative. there are a lot of things about the study where we deliberately chose very conservative numbers.
8:47 am
to take another example, we did estimate only 11.5 million when it could be far more than that. we also did not include costs that could come from fraud. there are some studies that looked at the 1986 amnesty time period and found about 25% of applications for amnesty were fraudulent at that time. you could have a number that is much higher than that. so, i would just say, you raised some great points about the rule of law and assimilation come a and this broken system is not good for the rule of law. it is not good to encourage -- for encouraging people to follow the law. we have millions of people waiting to get into the united states lawfully. that is one of the reasons why at heritage that we oppose amnesty, it is unfair to those waiting to get in lawfully. host: a tweet from one of our viewers -- what portions of those will create small businesses, employee workers, etc.? guest: i don't have good statistics for that particular fact third undoubtably some
8:48 am
immigrants, unlawful immigrants, even would bring the entrepreneurial talent to the united states. when you are looking at the public policy, you cannot look at specific examples but you have to look at the data itself. right now the unlawful population we examined, over half black eye high school a high and only -- have school diploma. of the nativeborn, less than 10% have -- lack a high school diploma. we know people with that education level in general are going to pay far less in taxes over their lifetime than they receive in government services and benefits. host: martin in maryland. legal immigrant. caller: [indiscernible] a few minutes ago saying we had
8:49 am
an amnesty in 1986, and we are about to do it again. we will see more in the future. number one, the amnesty in 1986, that is not what -- first of all. secondly, i believe that in -- we did not have either verify.-- e- the way i see it, and it is going to be shot down. american people thinking if we give amnesty now -- how can there be more illegals in the future if the system would be shut down?
8:50 am
what technology being deployed on the borders, and stuff like that? guest: thank you, martin, for the phone call. 1986 amnesty,he which is an important and should be an instructive example for washington. i was supposed to be a one-time early -- one-time only amnesty. in return, congress promised to the american people we would have workplace enforcement and we would get control of the border. we are still waiting for those two promises to be upheld. that is why we think it would be unwise to have more amnesty with more promises. instead, we think immigration reform ought be focused on areas where there is large agreement. you alluded to it earlier. also it could help our economy. for example, if we reform our immigration system to focus more on merit and high skilled immigration, we think not only would it help the economy but also according to our own research it would lessen the burden on american taxpayers. those who are college educated
8:51 am
on average pay way more in taxes than they receive in government services and benefits. that is why we think we should not go down this road again. we have seen it before. full me once, shame on you, full me twice, shame on me. me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. ?ost: talk more about metrics guest: if we reform it to focus on skills. there was a heritage report that we released in the 1980s looking at the in 1970s data on immigration. at that time, immigrants as a whole had a higher education level than the nativeborn population. that was less than a generation after we had changed our immigration policy in the 1960s to really focus on family reunification, which led to so call chain migration.
8:52 am
if you had a system that had a better mix of immigrants in terms of making sure that there economych for what the needs, including high skilled immigration -- countries like australia and others are really focusing on that -- we think not only it would help grow the economy and help immigrants who can come to star companies like google, for example, which could be a great boon to the economy but also lighten the tax burden to existing taxpayers, both the nativeborn and lawful immigrants. host: is heritage working with any senator on the judiciary committee as they plan to market up tomorrow? do any of the amendments that were filed reflect what you are putting forth? guest: we have a problem with the way the senate is going about this process unfortunately. they decided they wanted to do a comprehensive bill and we have seen over the last five or six years what comprehensive means to congress. unfortunately it means very large bills that are hard to understand.
8:53 am
we have seen that with obamacare. we have seen it with dodd-frank. we have seen it with a meal is built. cap and trade. these very large bills that take on largest sectors of the economy end up having a lot of sweetheart deals in them and are difficult to understand. instead, i think we ought to have a whole different approach and we ought to that start with a piece by piece approach. we hope congressman goodlatte and the house will proceed down this path, look at individual problems and find solutions. that is how you build trust with the american people. a step i step process and tackle the problem one at a time. host: senator jeff sessions from alabama says he also wants to slow down the process. are you working with his office? guest: we work with senators of both parties looking for nine part it -- nonpartisan research and analysis we have a number of ideas. the spam act -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- for high skilled immigrants who want to come to
8:54 am
the united states, we work with that office as well. host: jim demint, heading up with heritage, has he sat down with senator marco rubio and talked about his gang of eight proposal? guest: unfortunately he cannot because of ethics laws, which i have my own views on, having been a former senate staffer. i had to observe some of the same restrictions myself for a time. so, senator jim demint cannot talk to any of his former colleagues or anybody in the house on policy matters for a certain time. host: has senator rubio sat down with anybody at heritage? guest: absolutely, we had meetings with him and his have to talk it through. we appreciate his willingness to take on these issues. we disagree with the approach, and we were all very frank with him about that, and he understands that. but it does not mean we cannot also provide hard is it -- positive nonpartisan research analysis on elements of the
8:55 am
bill. host: senator jim demint, when he was a senator, sponsored senator marco rubio's run for the senate, both favorites of the tea party. a viewer on twitter says -- our border policy tracks undocumented workers in the u.s.. they can't go home because it is too expensive and dangerous to come back. guest: it is true as far as it goes. had a temporary worker program, which we in the past at heritage have supported, of a limited nature, you would be able to facilitate some of the migration patterns were people would come to work for a short time and go back home and go and, as they need. that would be a workable solution. host: washington, democratic caller. caller: i love c-span. i sit here and watch c-span five days out of the week. i am tired of representatives of certain company coming and
8:56 am
lobbying for something that makes no sense. people'sgroup of ideas do not fix it all. it takes both parties and companies to come together to fix immigration. i think a lot of politicians and research analyst forgot what america does. host: ok, derrick morgan? guest: thanks, money, for your call. i think you hit the nail on the head here on bipartisanship and the need for that. we need to all work together. i think congress would be much better served to not try to address the most controversial parts of immigration first in one giant bill. that is why we think if we did a piece by piece approach where there is more bipartisan agreement we could build more trust into what congress is trying to accomplish and also solve some problems piece by piece to reform the immigration system. host: we are talking with derrick morgan of the heritage
8:57 am
foundation after their report yesterday on the cost of amnesty, as they say. that part of the immigration proposal. 6.3 trillion. here is from "the washington times" a graphic the newspaper put together. the price of legalization. the net cost -- total benefits paid out minus taxes paid and will drop slightly on the path to citizenship but once they are in full legal status, the study concludes, the cost skyrockets. can you explain this chart and ?hat is current law guest: the current law is the current costs. looking at census data right now, unlawful immigrants and what they pay in taxes. they do pay taxes -- they'll taxes, property taxes, perhaps through their rent and so forth -- sales taxes, property taxes. what can they receive in benefits now question mark a lot of things they can't, according to the law.
8:58 am
the biggest ticket would be education. children of unlawful immigrants in our school systems, for example. it does impose a cost that other taxpayers have to pick up. that is current law. then when you shift over to the path to citizenship time period, her teen years -- and that is what our study looks at -- you will see an increase in the taxes unlawful immigrants pay. a lot of their wages will go from off the books on the books and we also anticipate an increase in wages, like what happened in 1986. during the time the taxes go up, their use of benefits and services go up slightly, too. the authors tried to restrict that so that perhaps in part because the cbo looks like -- looks at a 10 year score, so it makes it look like the bill will the less if they eliminate ability to take means tested welfare from unlawful immigrants, and so forth. all of that is fine and dandy so
8:59 am
it might look like from the cbo story does not cost that much but after the 13 years, when you get to the full amnesty, that is when the cost really start to add up because the families will then qualify -- once they are citizens especially, or the full panoply of benefits. means tested welfare. they will start to pay into the social security and medicare accounts under their own name. and they will qualify for those benefits. that is especially when it gets expensive, when you start talking about retirement because our retirement programs i very generous to those on average to have lower wages. we know this group will have lower wages on average than others. host: terminally the cost to taxpayers, $54.5 billion -- currently, the cost to taxpayers, $54.5 billion. we are going to pause here for a brief moment. house will be coming into the session this morning at 9:00 a.m..
9:00 am
they will recess immediately after dabbling in and they will reconvene around 10:30 a.m. this morning for a joint session with south korea's president, president park. house going to go to the right now as they are about to dabbling in and then we will come back and talk to derrick morgan more about the heritage foundation's report on immigration reform.
9:01 am
9:02 am
after consultation among the speaker and the majority in the minority leaders, and with their consent, the chair announces
9:03 am
gambling in very briefly, as you can see, then dabbling out for recess. they will come back for a joint with theas you heard,
9:04 am
south korean president, at 10:30 this morning. right now we will come back to our conversation on immigration reform. derrick morgan of heritage is joining us. that report that was put out yesterday, in the paper, made trillion put, 6.3 on that. we were talking about the chart that "the washington times" put together. taxes paid by illegal immigrants, that goes down to the pathway to citizenship. why does it go down? it goes down for the reason that during that interim phase, wages will go on the books, and there will be an incentive because by doing that they will build up credit and social security and no -- and medicare and so forth. there will be quite a bit more revenue paid in, some increase in benefits in services as well. looked ats' officers
9:05 am
-- authors looked at. all of those things are in there as well. it is mainly a function of them being on the books now and paying more in taxes than they do under the current law. ,ost: a tweet -- "mr. morgan have payroll taxes -- a legal workers have payroll taxes taken out of their checks that they will never benefit from." true? guest: under current law, if they were paying payroll taxes, they would be most likely using a fraudulent social security number, so they would not receive benefits unless it is an array fraudulent name. host: thanks for hanging on the line with us in florida. go ahead. caller: good morning. my question is, first i would like to say this is not amnesty. for people who will receive this benefit, it took years to get
9:06 am
the green card, and after that -- they were put into the system for 13 years for benefits, pure profit. i am illegal. i came here on a student visa. if i apply for something on my green card today, i will get after 10 years. if i total on the day that i get my green card, it will be about 20 years. do you think it is 20 -- do you think it is fair for someone to wait 20 years to get a green card? i will not get any medicare benefits, social security benefits. in terms of medicare and social security, that money is gone. i am never going to be able to see that. host: derrick morgan? guest: thank you very much for your call.
9:07 am
you bring up many excellent points. that is what we want to focus on a heritage. the process you are going through is ridiculous. it is cumbersome, bureaucratic, it is not good for you or for the country. we want to encourage people like you who came here to study in the united states to be able to stay here and grow your family and your business. you have done the right thing by obeying the law, and you should not be penalized by that. it is such a long process, and that is the same reason why we think an amnesty for unlawful immigrants -- and again, this amnesty, you would not qualify for it, sir. unfortunately, it is written right in the bill. you don't get any kind of amnesty or citizenship or anything else. it is completely unfair to people like you, who have waited in line and done the right thing and who are contributing to our economy. another thing i will say, lawful immigrants with a degree, on average will pay way more in taxes than they receive in
9:08 am
benefits. that is another good reason we ought to start their with immigration reform -- to start there with immigration reform, to let them come into the united states legally. from cincinnati, ohio, a republican caller. caller: isn't it a fact that the bulk of the illegal aliens from south america and central america are fairly uneducated, and isn't it a fact that 60% or 70% of them are undocumented, paying no documents during this entire period of time? guest: thanks for your call. we did not do a breakdown by ethnicity in our report. however, our report includes 11.5of the approximately million unlawful immigrants now, the heads of households, over have to not have a high school diploma. 27% have only a high school diploma, and that compares among u.s. natives, 920% that
9:09 am
don't have a high school diploma. they are significantly less educated. , weo your point about taxes are looking at all benefits they receive, including federal and state. i would not be surprised if your figure or even something higher were true about federal income taxes. we know for example that about half of taxpayers don't pay any federal income taxes, but there are other taxes like payroll taxes, and at the state and local level, sales taxes, property taxes, so forth that unlawful immigrants do pay at this point. host: from the heritage foundation, this is how they came up with that $6.3 trillion number. $9.4 trillion, goods and services. minus $3.1 trillion, that
9:10 am
brings you to 6.3 trillion, benefits minus taxes. does this differ from what heritage said back in 2006? here is a backgrounder by tim kane and kirk johnson. put together back in 2006. in it, it says the argument that immigrants harm the american economy should be dismissed out of hand. 12%r higher percentage of of foreign-born americans than in recent decades, yet the economy is strong with higher total gross domestic product. enhanced specialization and provide an net economic benefit. host: a couple of things -- guest: a couple of things about the 2006 paper, that was a much different economy for one thing. we also did not have the benefit of the research that looked at the fiscal effects of unlawful immigration to stop robert rector fos's first report
9:11 am
came out a year later, and we had internal discussions about how that should affect our thinking on these issues. like any good think tank or citizen who wants to think about these issues, when your facts change, when the circumstances change, your recommendations and analysis changes. at that time we had called for a comprehensive bill, and what we meant there was that we wanted to address all the problem's of immigration, not necessarily in one bill, but we have seen what conscience is at of what congress has done, what a mess they have made. it's immigration bill was 884 pages in its first iteration. when facts change, our recommendations change. , spring valley, minnesota, independent color. caller: i was just wondering, in 1993, harry reid said it is insane to give welfare benefits to illegal aliens.
9:12 am
now the citizenship thing that we have is insane, and nobody is referring to that. i am just wondering why the politicians don't call out harry reid on that. were you able to understand that? guest: i think so. a lot of times politicians say things during election time, and when it comes time for a bill they change their tune completely. you have a number of senators who will take oath to their constituents that they will not support amnesty, and they create an immigration bill that by any objective standard it really is amnesty, not enforcing the law with respect to a group of people. that is really unfortunate. what we try to do is provide nonpartisan research and analysis on amnesty. we think it is unfair to lawful immigrants like our caller who have been waiting in line, who
9:13 am
have done everything right. it is completely unfair for unlawful immigrants to come through the united states without going through the same process. we think it can make the problem -- the problem even worse. our study is very conservative on the numbers because we don't count any additional immigrants that may come in after this amnesty. we only look at this particular group and the cost of that particular group. whether it be senator reed or any other senator, i would hope that the pledges they make to their constituents, the things that they say, will follow through with. host: we are talking with derrick morgan. with the heritage foundation. we have a couple minutes left ear, and i wanted to clarify something i said earlier. we paused briefly for the house to come in, then they recessed because they will be reconvening at 10:30 a.m. for a joint meeting of congress. i called it a joint session. it is an important distinction.
9:14 am
they meetings typically would hear from heads of state. it is to hear from south korea 's president, president park. with that, let me get in one last phone call for you, derek morgan. rob in north carolina, a republican. caller: you're very well spoken in addition to being very well informed about this amnesty legislation. the plain and simple truth behind the democrats' support of it is to expand the democratic party and capture votes, just like the useful idiots who are low information voters, and all the rest of us who are hard-working taxpayers who have to foot the bill. if it was not for the heritage foundation -- if the heritage foundation, congress was informed that her by the heritage foundation, this
9:15 am
country would a lot better off. thank you. guest: thank you for your call and your nice complements about heritage. we do want to look out for the american taxpayer in this. the american taxpayer has not been hard of the process thus far stil. they are not being represented accurately while folks are putting together this legislation. so we hope that during this week and the following weeks out of the cost to the american taxpayer will take a central place in this immigration debate. host: as derrick morgan said, the senate judiciary committee will be marking up the legislation starting tomorrow and thursday, about 100 amendments filed. that process starts and a bill could come to the floor by this summer. while this conversation continues. derrick morgan, thank you very much for your time. we appreciate it. guest: thank you for having me. host: up next, richard condit conniff willrd, i
9:16 am
talk about his piece in "smithsonian magazine or cut we will be right back. >> al capone and the gangsters in general, whose main business was to supply a legal out call, became important cultural figures in the 1920's. they were hated and feared by a lot of americans, very violent of course, gangs organize with other gangs, other gangsters, and blood ran in the streets. ,hicago, detroit, new york philadelphia, pittsburgh, other major cities, of course and the midwest. in 1925, he was only 26 years old. thatgan a business generated $60 million annually, which is equivalent to about $400 million today.
9:17 am
his payroll included no less mama thousand -- no less than 1000 gunmen. he is a competent at fellow. he was a family man with children, faithful to his wife -- at least that is what most people heard and believed. he hosted annual block parties, when he lived in chicago. he was a consummate consumer. 11 carat diamond rings. he liked to buy and consume good wine and excellent food, not just excellent italian food but excellent french food as well. he seemed like a good man who gave back to the community, as we would say now. >> georgetown university professor michael kazin revisits americanng 20's on history tv. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on wednesday in our last
9:18 am
aur, we take a look at magazine article. this week is the recent addition of "smithsonian magazine." a coverhe magazine is piece by richard conniff, called "the body eclectic." let's begin there. what are microbes western mark guest? fungi, the viruses, but in particular they live all around our bodies and th in our bodies. we have never known before what they do and how they affect us? except for one way, we know they cause disease, so we tend to think of them as the enemy, and that has changed. do humans have? what kind of information do they hold?
9:19 am
people have started to research over the past 10 years and it is startling because it puts out what it means to be human. we have about 10 trillion cells that are certifiably human cells, but then we have 100 trillion microbial cells. genes that are human genes that determine our behavior, but we have 8 million microbial genes. they do things to us. they help us digest food. they tweak the immune system. they affect us in all kinds of ways that we have never really understood before. yet you call it big science in your article. why is that? guest: what happened in the late 1990's is that researchers developed technology that enabled them to identify every microbe in the human body for the first time. before that, they were only able to identify the ones that
9:20 am
happened to be happy in a petri dish that could survive there in a culture, and you are looking at thousands of species in the body all at the same time, all of them with multiple genes, and trying to make sense of that and make sense of how they interact with each other so that the data that comes out of this is just overwhelming. it overwhelms supercomputers. it is hard to deal with. each individual is also a friend, so that is a lot to digest. host: who is doing the research? what group? guest: the thing that has made the micro biome a really hot topic is that about about five years ago the national institutes of health began something called the human micro biome project, and this was an effort, a collaboration with about 80 universities and other institutions around the country, about 400 scientists, and a budget of $173 million. the idea was to study first of
9:21 am
all 300 volunteers, healthy volunteers, to look at different parts of their bodies and find out what microbes lived there. so they looked at five basic areas -- the nose, the skin, the the genital area, and -- the skin, did i say? five areas, and then they created a baseline of what is normal in humans, and then they looked at the connections in humans to health and disease. host: so it goes beyond universities and government study best. -- and government that studies this. capitalists got involved. why? guest: the government was hoping to, what the nih was hoping to do, was to bring the role of a microbe -- of a micro biome to the general public and
9:22 am
the attention of the pharmaceutical injury -- the pharmaceutical insert -- the pharmaceutical industry and venture capitalists for application in everyday human medicine. host: for what purpose? what are they trying to achieve? once you understand what these microbes do, you can tweak them in all kinds of ways and get them to perform things that you want them to do and not things you don't want them to do. even if you could understand what they are, you can use them in diagnosis. a standard problem now is that a mom will take her kid to the doctor with some sort of skin rash, and the doctor would prescribe an antibiotic. the doctor basically has to guess which antibiotic is going to work. two or three
9:23 am
different antibiotics to get to the right one. meanwhile, the kid is suffering -- there isand is often a lack of compliance because they don't trust the antibiotics. if you can identify what are causing the problem at the start, the doctor can give the right antibiotic at the right time and get the results much more quickly. ," he "interesting fact says, "the majority of the microbes in your body are nonhuman but other microbial species." guest: that is true. there are about 10,000 microbial species in the human body, and they are weirdly distributed, so i think there are about 140 different species that live behind the ear? why? i don't think anyone knows. i don't think anyone knows. the majority of them live in the human gut and our there for digestive purposes and to tweak the immune system. but altogether they weigh about microbess -- that is,
9:24 am
altogether weigh about as much as the human brain, about three pounds. you say this will turn around 150 years of medical thinking. why is that? guest: the germ theory has dominated medical thinking since about the 1880's, and that is the idea that pathogens make us sick and that therefore all microbes are the enemy, and that we need to be antibacterial, use antibiotics liberally, and it has given us this idea of the ideal antiseptic world. now we realize that that is a mistake, that it is not just -- ,hat microbes are not the enemy they are also essential allies. so we have to learn how to live in balance with them and control the ones that are threats but also encourage and not destroy the ones that really help us to function. host: what is destroying the
9:25 am
ones that help us function? what is the role of antibiotics? not just is antibiotics. it is all of the bacterial, antibacterial things, putting on the hand lotion every time we walked down the hallway to kill microbes. but one of the most interesting things out of all of this is -- an understanding of the destructive role of antibiotics. we have seen antibiotics as our salvation for the last 60 years since they were introduced in world war ii. you can understand why we think that way because they do save our lives from incredibly destructors diseases. i remember when i was a kid that every mom worried about blood poisoning. people don't think about blood poisoning anymore. it is like it never happened. but the problem is that we have become so dependent on antibiotics and we tend to think of them as the remedy for everything, that we use them all the time come and the effect is
9:26 am
camilla truly destructors. so the average kid in the developing country gets tens of -- 10 or 20 courses of antibiotics by the time they reach 18. that used to think that -- you went into the doctor and you asked for an antibiotic because your kid was screaming, sick, had an ear infection. we knew that that might be bad for society over the long-term because because it might encourage antibiotic resistance, but you want to have your kids feel good now. so we all wanted to get those antibiotics. what we did realize is that we might be harming the kid now. what happens with antibiotics is that they destroy the body's , and thecrobial life microbes don't just bounce back, they actually struggled to come back.
9:27 am
so when you get those 10 or 20 doses over the course of childhood, you may seriously impair the micro biome, and the result can be affecting our health in all kinds of ways we did not suspect before. host: according to your article, the most recent research on microbes found that infants exposed to antibiotics in the first six months are 20% more likely to be overweight as toddlers. and then a lack of normal gut microbes early in life disturbs the central nervous system in rodents, may do the same to humans. and starving children might lack the right digestive microorganisms to fix malnutrition. guest: yes. that was a study done in africa this year, him allowing -- in malawi. they looked at kids in the same households, with the same diet.
9:28 am
one had a severe form of malnutrition and another did not. the kid who did not have the disease did fine, the other kid did not. he would do fine for a little while, at them and go back to being malnourished what they found was that if you manipulate the micro biome and give these kids the right microbes to digest the food, they have a much better chance of recovering from malnutrition. host: we are talking about microbe research with richard conniff, his piece in "smithsonian magazine," "the body eclectic." let's go to charlotte. caller: good morning. i was curious as to, how does the body pick up its microbes, and if we are constructed by our dna, do we carry dna to make these microbes?
9:29 am
thank you. we picked thete, microbes up from the world around us right from the start. one of the most interesting studies has to do with cesarean births. about 30% of kids in this country are born by cesarean, and they found that kids born that way have a consistently different -- have a completely different micro biome in early life, dominated by a skin bacteria. where is kids born vaginally pick up microbes from the mom's earth canal, and they turn out to be healthier as a result because that rich micro biome early on in life is essential to a lot of things, including the development of the immune system, possibly the development of the brain. so the tendency for those kids born by cesarean to have more allergies and other conditions. the lack oftwitter, " certain microbes, germs, is
9:30 am
associated with allergies and probably autoimmune diseases as well." guest: that is right. question of this research by the nih, they did not actually say x causes y. a is difficult to say that group of microbes causes a condition, but they found lots of correlations, lots of cases where children lacking certain micro biome's or children who have been through certain things like cesarean birth then had a much higher incidence of things like allergies and healymunity, obesity, act disease, all those kinds of problems that have become epidemic in society over the last 20, 30 years. robert in tennessee, republican caller. you are up next. -- t: i caller: i am overwhelmed what i
9:31 am
hear this morning, and there are millions and trillions of them. as a young man, i thought all reality came about by chance, and this is a deeper level of reality i never thought of before. i am coming more to the conclusion that there is a great designer of all that is out there, and i lost my atheism way back there, and it seems this is such a help to me to hear all this competition in my human cannothe microbes, i even grasp it. i am just so grateful for what you are saying this morning. , talkrichard conniff about the complexity of this. guest: let me tell you how i got into this in the first place. i generally write about wildlife behavior, and i was writing a book about the discovery of species in the great age of discovery, the 19th century. i was writing about words, butterflies, monkeys, that kind of thing. i was hearing about the micro
9:32 am
biome at the same time, and i was describing this whole world of astonishing discovery, yet i was completely ignoring this other microbial world, this in visible world. there was a period of discovery that has been starting in the last 10 years and i am sure will go on for quite a while that as -- that is as astonishing discovering new worlds in the 19th century. finding these new worlds inside of us come and that is amazing and complex complex, and it changes our idea of who we are. host: richard conniff has a blog, and you can follow him on twitter as well. to patricia, new york, independent caller. help me with the name of your
9:33 am
town, patricia. ticonderoga. hi, richard. i want to comment on the previous caller. it is comforting to me as well to understand that there are complexities that we have a lot of questions about as human beings. i am not an advocate of taking antibiotics inappropriately. i have never taken many of them over my life -- a few here and there. this morning there was a report on the news about relief of lower back pain and long- standing through the use of a 100-day course of antibiotics. i don't know what antibiotics were being used, and i do think that the 100 days is an interesting figure. theink it kind of reflects complexity of the kind of engineering or tinkering or
9:34 am
whatever you want to call it, that we have to do with these microbes. i just wondered if you would comment on that. guest: i have not seen that study, so i cannot comment on it. what is promising is the idea that you won't necessarily need to go to antibiotics in the future. they will understand how to encourage beneficial bacteria and bring about a balance between the good and the bad bacteria, and the good bacteria will often be able to control and minimize the effect of the bad ones, and that is going to be a much more successful and less destructive way of handling a lot of medical conditions. the example that comes to mind is an epidemic condition now cdif, a gut microbe.
9:35 am
when you give a person repeated doses of antibiotics, it can microbialhe normal life in the gut, and this one destructive microbe starts to take over and it causes really severe unpleasant conditions, chronic diarrhea, and they try to treat it with other antibiotics, and that often makes it worse. there is a treatment for this now that sounds incredibly disgusting, and yet it seems to work, and that is fecal transplant. what they do is, they take donor material from a relative and they injected into the person' : colon and tried to introduced a more balanced microbial if innity to keep the cd i check. autism may be a
9:36 am
lack of good gut flora in mom, that baby inherits, and unable to recover from inoculation of salt." i think we have to wait a long time before people get conclusive results about what role microbes may play in autism. it is way too soon. host: and it brings up a point that you made in the article, promising too much too soon. there is a researcher at the uc -- university of .alifornia at at davis people are so excited about the discoveries and the incredible implications that they are promising all kinds of things. they are promising that microbes can prevent croke -- can prevent stroke or cure autism or do any number of things. really all we have now or --
9:37 am
are correlations. we have these interesting connections between changes of micro biome and changes in a person's health, but that does not mean that x causes y. to get to that point of x causing why takes a lot of scientific work, and to get to the point where we can take that ,cientific work and apply it that is a big step and it will take a while. host: what about the probiotic industry? you write that it is up 22% over last year. what is it, and what are they promising? live: probiotics contain bacteria, and people have taken probiotics pretty much forever. they are generally harmless. people also tend now to think that because the micro biome is good and you want to have a rich, diverse microbial community, that taking probiotics is going to be the answer to everything.
9:38 am
they take massive doses of row sy alex, and those probiotic are not typically and carefully regulated by the government. the idea that as one of the scientists i talked to put it, that something is a cure-all for everything probably means it is a cure for nothing. so i think putting too much confidence in probiotics can be dangerous. on the other hand, we do get to understand how microbes work and do develop beneficial microbes that are precisely targeted to specific conditions. at some point in the future, we will have probiotics that we can apply to very specific medical conditions and make a real difference. we are not there yet. host: we are talking to richard conniff of "smithsonian magazine," about researching microbes. primarily, he writes
9:39 am
about nature and has a blog. swimming recent book, " with puranas at feeding time," richard conniff. , "as a ohio said medical person i am outraged and these refuse to do sputum and throat cultures before giving out antibiotics." caller: my question is this. over the years we have seen a large rise in corporate farming, and then we see the sustainable growth organic movement where the soils are filled with microbes and filled with life, quite frankly. so my question is -- is this
9:40 am
going to lead to a more sustainable life for us with sustainable farming? guest: so let's talk about the corporate side of farming. these large concentrated operations. they are one of the areas where antibiotics have been used most heavily and indiscriminately, so we know now that 80% of the antibiotics in this country go not to medical purposes, not to human medical purposes, but to food animals, the animals that we eat. they go to promote growth, but more particularly to enable animals to stay healthy in much and crowded conditions, the result of that is that we have much cheaper meat than we would otherwise. on the other hand, the result is that we have antibiotic resistant bacteria on practically all the meat that we buy in the supermarket. so in addition to medical
9:41 am
overuse of antibiotics, i think we are coming to recognize that this agricultural overuse of antibiotics is extremely disruptive, and i think that will change pretty quickly. it is already changing because consumers are reacting so strongly against meat that is tainted with antibiotic resistant bacteria. microbes webout the get from other people? we talked about it earlier, or get from what we eat? it depends on how you cook your food, but there is antibiotic resistant salmonella and e. coli and bacteria on basically all of the supermarket meat that you get from standard industrial production methods, and you have to cook it thoroughly so you don't feel the consequences of that. but even handling that meet,
9:42 am
having it around the kitchen means that we are picking up those antibiotic resistant bacteria, and bacteria do this weird thing. instead of passing on their capacity just to their offspring the way we do, they can swap it from side to side with the microbes around them, so they can swap antibiotic resistance within our bodies, and the consequences of that are frightening to think about. host: what are they? guest: one of the reasons that cdif is such a problem is that you have bacteria that resist treatment with antibiotics. we just cannot deal with them. you have e. coli in the standard urinary tract infection that is often untreatable or difficult to treat because they have multiple antibiotic resistance. i believe e. coli infections kill 800,000 people worldwide. you have an antibiotic
9:43 am
resistance crisis in this country that i think the number is 63,000 people a year die as a result of antibiotic resistant infections in this country. so those are pretty big consequences from this kind of giddiness that we have had about antibiotics over the last 60 years. author ofard conniff, "the body eclectic." next caller, go ahead. caller: i have a 21-month-old child, and i wonder if there is any kind of testing that can be done on this? guest: i don't think they are doing much testing in terms of treating individual patients at this point, but the one thing that people said to me repeatedly as i was doing this research is, let your kid play in the dirt. let your kid be a kid. open windows, go outside. in't try to lock a kid up this sanitized world, because
9:44 am
the consequences for that child's health could be more serious than you imagine. sonja in howard, ohio, a republican caller. go ahead. caller: good morning. i think that is great that you are doing something very important. i had a question regarding the microbes inside the body, the way that the cells decay. if the cellsng, are alive and regenerating, do they feed off of that in any way? the main question, the white blood cells, they destroy the -- d and it think of the worl sound like an idiot. host: you are doing fine. caller: they destroy the bad cells that make you sick, and i wonder if there is any way that they feed off of that, regenerate themselves in that
9:45 am
way my car body does. the line and i will have richard conniff respond. guest: i am not sure i can answer that question. it seems to me if you are saying -- asking if the bacteria are feeding off each other in the body, and if that controls the bacteria, and honestly i just know that. when doctors try to control bacteria like cdif when they do fecal transplants, they are introducing bacteria to out- compete them, to occupy the spaces and niches in the body, not because they think the microbes will go in there and cdif.e i am not the one to answer the question. did the pre-penicillin sulfur compounds have the same negative effects on good microbes?" the first antibiotics
9:46 am
came in in 1935, and they were the only ones available until 1944, and i don't know if they produced the same amounts of resistance. but as soon as penicillin came in, by 1945 you are saying coming up resistance because of the heavy use of antibiotics. it was being heavily used because it had such great effect. within world war ii, it saves tens of thousands of soldiers lives from d-day on because antibiotics prevented these horrible infections from wounds so people did not get gangrene, they did not have their limbs agitated, they did not die. so it was a great thing, and you can -- did not have their limbs amputated, they did not die. so it was a great thing, and you can understand it -- people doctorsd seriously, discussed broadcasting antibiotics into the atmosphere to control microbes, to control these enemies. but in fact we realize that i
9:47 am
chrome's are not the enemy, they are also our allies. marlene, democratic caller. caller: i was calling because when my daughter was 10, her appendix burst. she was treated with triple antibiotics. then discharged, but returned because returns later of infection. i have often wondered, because it took her a very long time to recover her strength, and she often still feels tired, more tired than my other daughter because of going through that. i often wonder, is there any kind of long-term effect? guest: i don't know that. sorry, i cannot help you with that. i know it is incredibly debilitating when it happens, and it is sometimes fatal, but i don't know how it affects people after that over the long
9:48 am
term. ryan says, "what percentage of bacteria cannot be cultured, and what implications for health does this have?" a pretty small percentage that could survive in a petri dish and be studied. the dnay started to do sequencing and seeing all the rest of the things going on in our body, it opened up a pretty big new world. and we are just finding out what the effects are on our bodies. host: richard conniff, we have about 10 minutes left ear. what is next in this research question mark what will we hear about? guest: first of all, the nih has completed that initial program. they spent $173 million on a five-year pilot program with the idea of bringing the micro biome to the attention of the general public, the industry, the medical community.
9:49 am
they really did bring that to everybody's attention, so readers -- to research has taken off. the nih is going to continue with a $15 million program over the next three years, and they will be looking at some of the functions of the microbio, something that specific microbes do and how we can manipulate them. so we will start to see that filtering out into our everyday lives. you will see it in doctors offices. we have drug companies that are researching microbial treatments for diabetes obesity, allergies. those things will start to come on the market, they be five years, i don't know. and you also have, in addition isthe $15 million that nih spending on the next phase of the human microbio project, you have other parts of the national
9:50 am
institutes of health that to ramp up their research on the microbio, and they spent $180 million a year. so that will bear fruit and show up in our lives in all kinds of ways. i think the first thing we are going to see is people are going to move away from antibiotics because they will understand how destructive they are. they will be a lot more cautious of that. it is hard to predict. host: you talk about the peace that -- you talk about in the piece that toothpaste companies are doing research on that. why is that? ,uest: there are 700 or so maybe up to 1000, different microbes in the mouth. it is a question of establishing a balance within the mouth so that the ones that cause cavities are kind of outcompeted by the ones that are beneficial, and i think toothpaste companies are looking to see if they can take advantage of that to make their products more effective. host: venture capitalists are
9:51 am
also getting into the game. do we know how much money is putting into this research on the private side? guest: i don't know the numbers on total venture capital investment. him atalk to one company second genome, in california, and is looking to put a product on the market for also rate of colitis,l siulcerative and there are others. i suspect there are more that i did not run across in the course of my research. gaithersburg, maryland, republican caller. go ahead. caller: if we are kind of in the beginning of this process, the nih is already pulling in going toapitalists, want to make products and applications. is nih doing anything to detect
9:52 am
the universal i.t. that is out there for this? what the nih set out to do was to create a kind of template for how to do this work. they wanted to create protocols for how you do sampling, order calls for how you analyze the data -- protocols for how you analyze the data onto computer programs that will handle all the data. but, you know, if you are whether people will start patenting microbes and trying to privatize them, i don't think that is the nih's -- i think that is a question for the courts and i don't know what is going to happen with that. host: bakersfield, california, on our line for independents. caller: good morning. i would like to ask if he is aware of omaha beef.
9:53 am
they irradiate all of their beef so they don't have that problem with e. coli getting to the customer. guest: i don't know that particular company, but most companies, and also the raise their food animals by more old-fashioned means without relying on antibiotics can get away from this problem pretty easily. it is not inevitable that we have meat contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria. it just seems that way because that is how the industry chooses to do it at the moment. host: mark, a lego, new york, democratic caller. caller: good morning. your wildlife studies do see new species of microbes, mutating species, or are we losing species of microbes? guest: we are losing species within our own bodies.
9:54 am
one of the things that is most alarming, they call it the process.ing microbiota the overall diversity of microbes in the gut has steadily gone down over the past 60 years, and this may be having lots of negative consequences in terms of allergies and digestive disorders and those other things that we were discussing earlier. a kind ofhere is possible ecological crisis within our own bodies that is a real source of concern. host: matt smith says, "can our ,uest link recent studies experiments linking stomach and gut bacteria to mood and motivation?" guest: that study of rats
9:55 am
suggested that rats that don't ine a rich diverse microbio the early stages of life -- micro biome in the early stages of life can have different serotonin levels in the brain, and that is scary stuff and stuff that needs to be studied. but, you know, what can we can do about it now, how we can change our lives, that is not known. it still needs to be researched. host: don in new mexico, independent caller. caller: good morning. mary roach has written a new adventures of the alimentary canal," dealing with our digestive system and how it works. are you familiar with that particular work? guest: i have not read it. caller: my second question, there has been a recent study
9:56 am
done on children who have pacifiers in the way mothers deal with those pacifiers -- when they drop to the ground, whether they pick them up and give them to the child or whether they put them in their mouths and then given to the child and introduce that bacteria in their children. are you familiar with that study? a story in that was "the new york times" asked the other day. this is the exact split personality over microbes. the impulse to take the pacifier and put it under hot water immediately and clean it may be healthier to put it in your mouth and rinse it off and give it back to the baby. so this idea of the mom and the child exchanging microbes early on, and this being an important thing for the child to develop its microbial diversity, that is -- when i was visiting these scientists, researching the story, all of them would be talking about how important it was to have a rich and diverse
9:57 am
me, and then out of the hallways they would have those purell dispensers for the antiseptic washing of hands. so we have this split personality would have to get past and think of microbes as a much more subtle and nuanced thing then we have thought about them in the past. host: sheila in connecticut, independent caller. caller: hello, richard and greta. i question is about roe biotic -- about probiotics. my doctor lets me get away with getting off of them if i can because i get all these side effects. s, theye probiotic introduce bacteria into the system. i wonder if we can protect ourselves by doing this because there are so many antibiotics out there. --rs ago i came upon a book
9:58 am
years ago i came upon a book and sidney wolfe was one of the contributors. i call that my bible. i don't have access to it right now, but i have to get another one. c, but it ish a causes -- it causes different things like tendinitis and different things with your bones, so i am very leery of antibiotics. i put myself on probiotics, and i wonder if that is safe to introduce into the system every day. would that be helpful on counteracting -- host: if i could add to that, there is an e-mail from thatand -- from maryland validity thate a taking probiotics replaces the
9:59 am
good bacteria in the human gut providing that the probiotic has been manufactured in -- i don't -- in my guest: in the article i describe the micro biome as being like a symphony, different parts that are interactive playing together, and adding the playing the like piano solo with your elbows. on the other hand, introducing an antibiotic is like laying the piano solo with a two by four. you are doing damage and destruction. avoiding that is certainly something to do if you can. when you can, you should. meanwhile, you're not going to hurt yourself with probiotics, and eventually there will be probiotics that will be a real help. host: richard conniff's piece thethe body eclectic," in
10:00 am
smithsonianion of " magazine." thank you for talking to our viewers this morning. we appreciate it. that does it for today's " washington journal." we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. enjoy the rest of your wednesday. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> half an hour here on c-span at 10:30 eastern south korean president park geun-hye will address congress. she met with president obama yesterday in oval office. she was

59 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on